4 Stages of Learning

An article was recently released from Edudemic with the title “Do You Know The 4 Stages Of Learning?” What is represented in this article is a thought process and practice for learning. The example given is for a reading lesson or assignment, but the stages can be applied to any learning situation and any content area. The Learning Process series I wrote covered how we learn in general. This article by Edudemic covers learning in terms of strategies. There are many strategies out there that can be employed by both learner and teacher. However, how we approach the introduction and integration of those strategies is what is most important. As an example, there are many apps, so to go through them all and dig in deep would be nearly impossible. What we can do instead is highlight a few useful apps as examples and discuss how to use them and how to discern which apps are worth the time.

While the infographic below is simple, it still requires some thinking to pull in the objectives at the bottom into the Before/During/After section at the top. A brief breakdown of the four stages, combined with their objective:

  1. Declarative – identifying learning strategies (what they look like and what they’re called)
  2. Procedural – how to use learning strategies (inputting your knowledge into a strategy to increase understanding)
  3. Conditional – when to use learning strategies (applying a learning strategy that will best enhance the learning process)
  4. Metacognitive – understanding why a learning strategy is employed (how has your learning increased or changed due to the strategy?)

With the reading examples given, different learning strategies are used, and the four stages can be applied to each area of the example. Before reading, the preview involves different learning strategies. The four stages would be applied to those learning strategies as they are used to preview, question, and predict. Note that the reflective, or metacognitive process can take place along the way or at the end depending on the learner and the structure of the content.

One glaringly obvious piece of this that I want to point out is the inclusion of student/learner questioning throughout the process. Learners must be allowed to ask questions. That is how they interpret what they are experiencing. Assimilation is almost never perfect, so to resolve anomalies or misunderstandings as we add and modify our schema, we must ask questions, re-evaluate, and ask more questions. The teacher can help a learner with these stages of learning, but the student can help him/herself  by asking questions.




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